AudialHub is a cheap-as-chips audio conversion tool that turns obscure music files into common formats.

It's useful if, for example, you download audio files from the internet that iTunes can't handle and want to convert these files to a more manageable format.

Simple software

The application comes from a small design team called Techspansion that won kudos with its VisualHub release, which does much the same task for image formats.

We reckon AudialHub is about the strongest current option if all you want to do is convert audio formats. We love it because it has a simple interface to work with that doesn't blind you with configuration options.

The process is easy enough. Take .rm files, for instance – this is a common format that cannot be played in iTunes or on an iPod.

Using the application we just dragged across a bunch of .rm files from our Download folder, dropped them into AudialHub and converted them to MP3 with one click. We started with a one-hour radio show, which converted to MP3 in a minute and a half.

The quality wasn't CD level, because our starting point is already a compressed file, but it played back well enough on our iPod.

Batch conversion

We batch-converted a variety of files and the results were perfectly acceptable.

The program's range of conversion options includes dozens of different file types, such as FLAC, AAC and Ogg Vorbis, and it will even convert audio from within video files.

AudialHub gives you the option of loading the file into iTunes after conversion, and to stitch together multiples into one longer file, which is useful for audiobooks.

Its main competitor is probably Max from sbooth.org, although that has yet to get a full release, so we're sticking with AudialHub.